Amazon agrees to acquire podcast producer Wondery
Amazon Inc. confirmed on Wednesday before markets closed that it has signed an agreement to acquire podcast maker Wondery.
“We’re pleased to announce that Wondery, an innovative podcast publisher with a track record of creating and producing top-rated podcasts, has signed an agreement to join Amazon Music,” said the company adding that “when the deal closes, nothing will change for listeners, and they’ll continue to be able to access Wondery podcasts through a variety of providers.”
With the acquisition, Amazon Music will now compete directly against Spotify and other music streaming platforms.
FB Shuts Irish units Amid Tax Avoidance in the US Markets
Tech giant Facebook Inc. announced on Wednesday the decision to shut down its subsidiaries in Ireland amid the United States’ claims the tech giant avoided paying taxes in its home country by moving parts of its business and therefore revenues offshore.
The company’s spokesperson dismissed the allegations and added the profit of Facebook Ireland Holdings Unlimited Company, which oversees its operations outside the US and Canada, was “distributed to its US parent company.”
UK Parliament approves Brexit deal
The British Parliament on Wednesday approved the first reading of the Brexit deal agreed on Christmas Eve between the European Union and the United Kingdom. The bill was passed by 521 votes to 73.
All proceedings in the committee were passed quickly after the first reading as there were no amendments. The bill will move on to the House of Lords and become an act of law once it is granted royal assent.
Over 75% of England’s population to be in Tier 4 lockdown
United Kingdom Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock (pictured) announced on Wednesday that more areas in England will be placed under the Tier 4 set of restrictive measures from tomorrow in an attempt to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
The Midlands, North East, along with parts of the North West and the South West will be subjected to the strictest possible lockdown, meaning that 78% of England’s population will now live in areas covered by the Tier 4 measures.
Yesterday, the UK documented the largest daily number of new coronavirus infections since the pandemic started.